Viber Lets You Connect Freely. Literally! After WhatsApp, Viber to encrypt calls and messages.

By Ritu Kochar

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Viber

A debate evoked by Apple has now spread across the world. When Apple denied FBI the help needed to unlock an iPhone linked to one of the San Bernardino shooters and landed itself in a legal battle, the world, once again, faced the question of user's data privacy. Many Silicon Valley players had supported Apple citing that user data privacy needs to be respected.

Following this, only last month WhatsApp stared securing the calls and chats on its platform with end-to-end encryption. Joining this trend is Viber, the instant messaging app who will now encrypt user messages to protect texts and calls on its platform from "interception".

Viber COO Michael Shmilov said in a blogspot, "Our team at Viber has been working hard to give you more control over your private conversations. Today we are taking another step in this direction by making your private communication even safer through end-to-end encryption, hidden chats and message deletion."

He added that the company has been working on this for a long time and users can "confidently use Viber without fear of their messages being intercepted - whether it is in a one-to-one or group message, on a call, on desktop, mobile or tablet".

According to Viber website, it has more than 600 million unique users in 193 countries. Bought by Japan's Rakuten in February 2014 from Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco, the company had announced crossing the 40 million-user mark in India.

"We're rolling this out globally over the next two weeks, and you'll see a grey padlock to confirm you are secured. Additionally, we've ensured each user has an individual cryptography key associated with his or her device, allowing you to benefit from an added layer of security," Shmilov said.

Users can manually authenticate contacts to select they are "trusted" that changes the lock colour to green.

"If you ever see a red lock it means there is a problem with the authentication key. The breach may simply mean that a user has changed his or her primary phone. However, it can also indicate a man-in-the-middle-attack. To solve a possible breach state, the participant needs to be re-trusted," he said.

Apart from this, Viber has also launched hidden chats that will allow users to hide specific chats from the main screen so no-one but the user knows they exist.

(With inputs from PTI)

Ritu Kochar

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

Ritu used to work as a Feature writer for Entrepreneur India.

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